BY JEFF BETTGER
I’m super excited to announce a new project we are rolling out in partnership with Burdick Brewery called South Park. Live. I’m excited about this project for multiple reasons. First it is in my neighborhood, second it is a live music event which I have not regularly done in many years, and third it is at a craft brewery. Some of my favorite things all coming together on one night every month. Click here to check out more of what the project is about. I’d rather spend my time in this post talking about my neighborhood and my friend's Katie and Max. Let me start with Katie.
I first met Katie after seeing her belting out Gospel music in church at the top of her lungs. She has guts and gusto and can belt out the jams as loud as me, only she can actually control her pitch and timbre while doing it. I always love a bold singer who has soul like Nina Simone, and rock like Janis Joplin. I instantly recognized that Charisma in Katie. I heard about her band Pretty Broken Things and was blessed to see them for the first time in a small living room setting show in belltown. We spoke a few times and became acquaintances. We had mutual friends and some of them are folks we both have played music with over the years.
At some point I told her about Artist Reformation and the type of things I had been dreaming about doing and what led me to starting the organization. She totally resonated in various ways and so we continued the conversation hoping to one day work together on a few things. Over the next year or so she found herself in a position that all of us have experienced, the annoying need for a new place to live. She was living with some friends of mine and everyone was moving out. My wife and I have always shared our house with various people we love and live life with. We just happened to have a spot opening up, and mentioned it to Katie. She said she'd think about it. That turned into a yes and the rest is history. Katie moved in to our place in South Park and we began developing a great friendship. She is now an integral part of our family and community down here in the neighborhood, so naturally she was the first person I thought of when Max from Burdick and I began brainstorming a live music event.
OK, now let me talk about Burdick Brewery and Max Leinbach. Max and I have a mutual friend who owns a flooring company that we both worked for. Max and I never met each other while working for our friends company, this is because I was always out on an install and Max was the office manager. Both of us only worked for Him for a short period of time, but it was a time that helped both of us launch forward into the things we are now doing. When I first heard of Burdick Brewery it was through our mutual friend. I went down to the opening night of Burdick Brewery with our friend, which is when I first met Max. We hit it off and over time connected and learned more about the things each of us are excited about and had been dreaming up for our organizations and the neighborhood we both live in.
I had just started becoming more and more convinced that the place I live is important and I should be looking for ways to engage the neighborhood instead of always leaving the neighborhood to do everything. It sure does help that South Park has three breweries now. We just need a boutique coffee shop down here. You know one that I can sit in for hours and work on things like this blog post. Any way that’s a tangent, back to the story.
Max and I decided to partner together on a recurring live music event. With my background in the music industry, Max’s amazing beer-making talent and space in the neighborhood we decided this is a perfect way to work together and do something local, sustainable, and beneficial for the place we live. Burdick and Artist Reformation care about the community around us and the people who are present with us. We also both love music and craft beer.
The vibe of the night will showcase all of these things. We want to make sure that there is plenty of time to hang out with friends and engage in conversation, so we have decided each South Park Live event will feature one artist who will perform for 30-45 minutes beginning at 8pm. This enables plenty of time to meet the artist and hang out with friends, conversing, drinking craft beer and enjoying the music.
South Park is the perfect neighborhood for an event like this. It will be easy to keep it intimate and personal because barely anyone has heard of our hood and those that have don't ever seem to know where it is. My family and I moved here eight years ago and it has proven to be a nice oasis just south of the city. It is the last neighborhood in Seattle that someone can still purchase a home on a regular blue collar salary, and one of the last yet to be gentrified. I know that will change shortly as this place is zoned like Ballard and also on a river. No matter what happens we love this place and think you will too.
So come down and check out our little event at one of the neighborhood breweries before things changes to become more like the rest of the city. Right now South Park seems to be the last remnant of the 90's grunge era of Seattle. Come enjoy it while it lasts!
Here's a video we made of Katie performing one of her songs in our living room: